Should we really sell Montana to Canada?

Dillan Schorfheide, Assistant Sports Editor

I have people who can back me for predicting this, so do not try me.

But weeks ago, I had the thought that in the future someone in the United States government (probably a president) would try to sell some of the country’s land to reduce or fix the national budget.

I originally assumed they would start with some of the smaller lands the U.S. claims, but I figured the states that would be better selling pieces would be Hawaii and Alaska.

Both have some tourism flare (more so Hawaii), but Alaska has oil and Hawaii has tropical foods and such.

I am being serious, I predicted someone would try to sell these states to reduce the national budget. Maybe Russia would take Alaska: It could make relations better and it gets land that is in its backyard anyway (thanks, Sarah Palin).

Despite my crazy theory, I never actually thought it would happen; that is, until this past week.

An online petition has called for Montana to be sold to Canada to help reduce the national budget. So, instead of the Louisiana Purchase, we have the Montana Auction, I guess.

USA Today reported Wednesday that a petition to sell Montana to Canada for $1 trillion was proposed on USA Today said the $1 trillion would only cover one year’s worth of the national debt.

The petition on the website has a statement along with it, from the petition’s founder identified as Ian Hammond: “We have too much debt and Montana is useless. Just tell them (Canada) it has beavers or something.”

There are serious implications if this becomes an actual consideration for lawmakers.

First, would they actually consider this?

USA Today showed multiple tweets from Montana residents who actually supported the idea, one saying to include the Dakotas, too.

From the research I did, it seems as though the U.S. could sell its own land, as long as it gives the buyer the sovereign rights to it.

If not, then I am sure the state and country could work out some amendment to the Constitution or something.

Secondly, if Montana were to be sold, would we be losing anything?

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Montana is a substantial energy supplier to the rest of the nation and it is rich in both fossil fuels and renewable resources.

In fact, nearly one-third of the nation’s recoverable coal reserves are in Montana, and the northern and eastern areas of the state contain large deposits of crude oil and natural gas.

Because of the mountainous geography of Montana, fast-running rivers are created and the eastern two-thirds of the state are drained by the Missouri River and its tributaries.

In 2017, Montana was the fifth-largest producer of hydroelectric power in the nation.

So, Montana is actually very useful and a state we want to make sure we get all the energy from.

Of course, with business deals, the U.S. could always have a royalty or some sort of share from Canada’s profits of the state.

But, it looks like another way to cut down the national debt needs to be introduced.

Or, at least a different state to be sold.

Dillan Schorfheide is a junior journalism major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].